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Angling Reports 2006

3 January - Loch Etive (Bonawe) - Myself, Brian and Stu started fishing at Bonawe quarry at high water using ragworm, mackerel and squid cocktails fished on the bottom. We had lots of small knocks which resulted in a couple of small codling. We decided to move a mile further up the loch to see if we could pick up some better sized fish. Once we were set up the bites came fairly quickly but again resulting in small fish. I set up a ragworm float fishing outfit and fished off the rocks in front of us and had a pollack of around 1lb almost immediately. The next cast produced a pollack of 2½lb and then a small codling. Stuart switched to fishing leadhead/jellyworm and after a couple of bites landed a codling of 2½lb. We all ended up float fishing, Brian caught a few small pollack and codling. The bottom bait produced a small thornback ray and a gurnard. All in all we had 8 pollack, 6 codling, a gurnard and a thornback ray. Al, Brian & Stu

14 January - Loch Etive (Bonawe) - Me, Der and Scott W. headed past Bonawe, carried on through the quarry and parked the car at the gate. We then set off on foot for a further 10 mins. We caught 4 cod, 2 dogfish and 7 pollack. The cod and dogfish were caught on a pennel rig using mackerel bait, the pollack were caught spinning with jelly worms. We caught our fish between 2 hours before and 3 hours after high tide. Scott Sommerville

29 January - Loch Sunart - Brownie, Greg and I fished from the shore opposite the village of Strontian, a good summer spot which produced Rays and Dogs up to 10lb as well as rakes of mackerel (summer only) plus small pollack. Fresh mackerel on the bottom is by far the best bait but whole squid are a close second. We were finally beaten by the minus 10 degree temp but managed 3 dogfish of about 4lb each. Disappointed at the lack of ray action as you just can't beat a 10lb thornback on a carp rod! We'll be back... Dylan

1 February - Loch Sunart - Brownie, Greg and I fished the narrows on Loch Sunart. We were bombarded by dogfish which we were catching on whole squid, a good bait because it's strong and can be recasted. Greg had the only pasty sized codling (which took a whole squid) and Brownie had the best dogfish of about 3lb. I had a shock when I struck a fish and reeled it in to find that it was two, yes TWO dogfish which had themselves perfectly hooked on a double hook rig that I had LOST on the cast approx an hour earlier. I had managed to cast approx 60 yards and hooked my lost tackle and two dogfish!! From what we can see, this time of year the bottom of Sunart must be alive with dogfish, and they are hungry. Looking forward to fishing this spot in the summer. Dylan


4 February - South Coast of Mull (on Oberon II) - Just returned from a day out on John Keggie's new charter boat, Oberon II, with Ronnie Blue and Phil McDade. We set off from Dunstaffnage Marina at 9am. The weather was mild with very little wind. On route we saw a few porpoises and a pair of sea eagles. John took us to a wreck he's fished before off the south coast of Mull. We were fishing for barely a couple of minutes when I hooked into a big pollack on the jellyworm which headed straight for the wreck. Whilst I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get to grips with it both Ronnie and Phil hit into good fish. Ronnie was snapped off but Phil managed to land a superb 12lb 8oz pollack taken on a shad imitation, a new record for the boat. The fishing continued to be good for a couple of hours with us catching around ten 5lb+ pollack and a few coalies before it went quiet. John decided to try a couple of shore marks to give the wreck a rest. We fished various marks for around an hour without much success - Phil was the only one to catch a decent pollack. We headed back to the wreck with the tide dropping and we stared hitting fish after fish, all 6lb+ hard-fighting pollack. We stayed for about two hours before heading home. We landed around 25 fish in total and our biggest fish were 12lb 8oz (Phil, above left), 9lb (Ronnie, above right) and 8lb (Andy). An excellent day was had by all! Check out the video clip of Ronnie fighting a big pollack. Andy, Ronnie, Phil McDade


15 March - Loch Awe - Brian and I headed to Loch Awe for the much-anticipated first day of the trout season with a boat booked at Loch Awe Boats, Adrbrecknish. We arrived at around 9.15am. The weather was bright with a fairly strong SE wind, not ideal fishing conditions. We headed straight across the loch to a bay we've fished before that was fairly sheltered. The wind was so strong we decided to take turns fishing with the other person on the oars keeping the boat straight. Within 15 minutes I hooked into a nice brownie on my top dropper, a mallard and claret, weighing around 3/4lb - not bad for Loch Awe. We continued fishing till 3pm but didn't get another touch. Still, it's great that the season has finally started! Andy & Brian



27 March - Loch An Losgainn Beag, Kilmelford - It was the first mild day since the start of the trout season. Walking down to the loch, I saw what I thought were fish moving on the surface. As I got to the waters edge I realised it was frogs in the loch breaking the surface! I turned over some stones to check for insect life and found a few case caddis and nymphs. The water temperature was 6.5 degrees. I caught my first fish after ¾ hour. It was in excellent condition and weighed around half a pound. I saw a couple of fish rise over the next 15 minutes and I managed to cover one which produced a good take. The fish was a well-conditioned 1½lb. Al



2 April - Kilmelford - Despite the recent cold weather Brian and I decided to check out a few of the Kilmelford hill lochs following my recent successful outing at Losgainn Beag. We set off for the Feinn lochs and, after a grueling walk, we were gutted to find the shelter had been blown well into the loch sometime over the winter. The fishing was hard, to say the least, with both of us fishing round the loch several times, trying a number of fly patterns with little success. I only had one take which resulted in a wild brown trout of 1¼lb, which was on the slim side. Brian spent an hour or so in the belly boat without any joy. The water temperature was 6.5 degrees, cold for this time of year, and the wind was all over the place. On our way back we stopped off at Loch na Curraigh for a brew. We saw a couple of fish rise and Brian decided to have a chuck. On his second cast he hooked a nice wee brownie. He had another take a few minutes later but missed it. With the weather closing in we packed up and headed back to the car. Al & Brian



8 April - Loch Awe - Arrived at 9 am for a full days fishing. It was cold and overcast with heavy wintry showers. I got my rods set up for a days trolling and downrigging. Trolled for 4 hours without even a touch. The weather then took a turn for the worse and I packed up the trolling gear and went to a very good perch spot. Set up a rod with 6lb line and had a dabble with a worm suspended just off the bottom in about 20-25ft of water. BANG, straight in to my best ever perch weighing in at 2lb. What a fight it put up! Fished on for about 1 hour and caught 6 more fish, half to 1lb in size, good fun. Went back trolling for a few more hours but still nothing, so I headed home. Bad day for trolling but made better by big perch. Hope you like photo. Stu 



15 April - Loch Balnagowan, Isle of Lismore - The three of us set off at 8am on the Appin ferry. The weather was overcast with a gentle southerly wind and the temperature was a bit on the cold side. The day turned out to be a bit of a hard slog with no fish rising and no interest shown by any fish. Kev then hooked into a nice fish of a pound and a quarter at about 3pm and this was followed by a brief spell of action with myself hitting (and missing) two fish, the second of which smashed at my olive bomber breaking me off at the top dropper. All in all it was a nice days fishing and I intend to return very soon. Brian, Wee Brian & Kevin



17 April - Loch Gorm, Isle of Islay - Strong NW winds. Due to the exposure of the loch and the conditions fishing on most of the loch was out of the question, so we decided to fish the shore from the NW side with the wind at our backs. Despite being told it was a bit early in the season we gave it a go for a couple of hours. Unfortunately it was one of those days when only small fish were taking, with Brian catching the majority of the 17 small fish we caught. Al & Brian

19 April - Loch Ballygrant, Isle of Islay - Southerly breeze with sunny intervals. I hired a boat from the Dunlossit Estate office and set out for a half-day fishing on the loch. As I walked down to the boat things were looking good with a few fish rising. On my second drift I hit my first fish of the afternoon, a hard-fighting half pound brown trout, with two more around the same size following shortly after. It went quiet for around an hour but, after a brief downpour, I boated a nice fish of around a pound and a quarter and two small fish of around 6oz. Al

19 April - Loch Fyne - I was fishing close to old Castle Lachlan at Strathlachlan with my 9ft spinning rod, a 1 hook long range rig and squid for bait, only to catch nothing but a whole load of dogfish. Where's all the other fish got to may I ask? I will be going further north to fish in the summer. Kenny McLeod


21 May - River Euchar (Loch Scammadale) - My son and I set out at around noon. We started fishing Loch Scammadale with trout rising all around us. The weather was not great fishing - blue sky, lots of sun and low water. We fished the loch for 2 hours then we decided to have a go on the river. We tried buzzers and lures but nothing. My son put on a teal, blue and silver-like fly and headed off towards a pool. First cast in and BANG! A nice trout of over a pound. It put up a great scrap and was returned to the river. No trout on the loch but great day out. Vilas and Liam Roberts



21 May - Loch Etive - I organised a charity fishing comp at Loch Etive, fished the church in daylight. A total of 14 anglers caught 2 thornback rays, biggest 6lb 11oz, 2 dogfish, 1 scorpion fish and a couple of spider crabs. The weather was sunny and hot. Baits tried were sand eel, mackerel, herring, ragworm, squid and peeler crab. Sand eel was the best bait. Steve Burnett

2 June - Loch Etive (Bonawe) - Fished the last two hours of the ebb and slack water with fresh mackerel (well, fresh for Tesco's in Oban, compared to the usual sad and stale fish this was excellent). Had a couple of small knocks and three or four casts without any activity. Noticeable lack of crab interference, which was nice for a change. Then the rod just slowly curved round and stayed down as something headed off towards Taynuilt. Struck into a heavy weight which just came in very slowly with occasional knocks - it felt like someone's anchor, except for the occasional thump which told me it was a fish. I was really anxious for my shock leader knot but everything held and at last I got a few turns of the leader on the reel. This was followed by a white shape in the water which revealed itself to be a large female thornback, coming in upside down. I got number 1 son to lift it out and after a few pics. and a check with the scales she was safely returned. Personal best from the shore at 9.5lb. She was obviously in the process of egg laying so I was glad that the hook came out easily and she was looking good when released. After the excitement nothing else happened for a long time, then I had a grey gurnard of about 10 inches. By this time the midges were really getting too bad so I packed in. Jonathan Anglesea

3 June - Garvellachs (on Oberon II) - We had a surprise call from John Keggie around 10am asking if we fancied a day out fishing as he had a late cancellation. Due to family commitments only Al and I could take up the offer. We headed south from Dunstaffnage towards the Garvellachs, a small group of islands NW of the isle of Scarba. On route the skies cleared and there was a fair SW wind. On the first mark we picked up around 10 pollack between 2.5lb and 5lb. We then headed a few miles south to the next mark. We drifted over a reef, hitting loads of coalies averaging around 1.5lb. As the wind eased off we anchored up and bait fished, landing a couple of ballan wrasse around 2lb each. John then took us to another reef just north of Fladda Light. The fishing here was exceptional. We fished jellyworm/leadhead lures over kelp beds and picked up loads of good-sized pollack. As we drifted over deeper water the size of our catches increased, the best being 7lb. As the evening drew closer we headed home with over 50 fish under our belt. Another superb day out on the Oberon. Andy & Al

3 June - Loch Fyne (Cairndow) - Fished at the memorial using herring, ragworm and spinning when quiet.  We caught 5 sea trout (biggest was 2.5lb), 4 mackerel, 1 dogfish and 1 saithe between the three of us while the tide was coming in. No fish taken at high tide. Weather was humid with a lot of cloud in the morning changing to clear skies later. Great day had by all especially Graham who wasn't fishing just enjoying the view and many a beer. Martyn Low, Robert Lever, David Church & Graham McGill

8 July - Loch Fyne - Launched boat at Minard in strong southerly wind at high tide. Water was too rough for Port Ann so tucked behind the islands off Minard. Caught a few pollack to 3lbs, and a few mackerel on leadheads, some with jellys, some with ragworm. Switched over to baited mini-shrimps and found plenty of mackerel and 3 cod to 1lb or so. Finished off with a single simple paternoster for wrasse and caught 3 to 2lbs. Good couple of hours fishing considering the weather. Colin 15 July - Inverawe Fisheries - Fished Inverawe Lily Loch and caught a 3 pound rainbow followed by 2 more 1 pounders caught at Hugos Lochan. Vilas Roberts

15/16 July - Lynn of Lorne / Isle of Lismore - Al & I headed off in the boat from his mooring in Loch Creran on Saturday afternoon, making the most of the excellent weather. We stopped off near the narrows at Eriska and jigged feathers hoping to catch a few mackerel. Al's rod suddenly bent double and he was in to something big. Unfortunately it turned out to be two pollack, one at 5lb and the other 4lb. We moved out into the Lynn of Lorne where we started hitting mackerel. After stopping off on an island for dinner (barbecued mackerel - delicious) we tried bottom fishing for an hour or so without any success. We then headed to Lismore, pitched the tent, built a fire and had a wee bevy. Early the next morning we headed to Loch Balnagowan, one of our favourite freshwater venues. There were a number of big fish rising when we arrived. I hooked into a nice trout but it managed to spit the hook before I could land it. Al caught a nice brownie weighing 1¼lb. The bright sunshine didn't help the fishing much so after a few hours we headed back to the boat. On the way back to the mooring we caught a few more mackerel. A very enjoyable summer outing. Andy & Al


21 August - Loch Etive - Fished Airds Bay from the boat, fishing down 1/2 tide to 1 hour after low. Caught mackerel, plenty of whiting, gurnards and a 2 1/2 lb cod on baited mini shrimps (mackerel, squid and ragworm). Also caught thornbacks to 4 lbs, spurdogs to 3lbs and doggies on mackerel strips fished on the bottom. Visited again 6 days later and fished the rising tide. Caught plenty of the same (except cod) on the baited feathers but only one small thorny on the mackerel strips. Colin


30 September - Lochan Dubh, Oban - We're just back from a day's float tubing on Lochan Dubh, a small loch near to Pennyfuir cemetary, just outside Oban. This is an ideal loch for float tubing as much of the shoreline is very reedy, which makes for difficult bank fishing. The belly boat allows you to explore the whole loch. The weather was unusually good for the time of year - warm with bright sunshine and little wind, though not ideal for fishing. Ronnie had the first fish of the day, a nice ¾lb brown trout taken on a daddy imitation dry fly. I had been fishing wet flies without any success so I changed to a fly similar to Ronnie's and was rewarded shortly after with a nice half pound brown trout. What little breeze there was dropped away and the loch turned into a sheet of glass. Ronnie managed to land another smaller fish and I lost a nice trout that hammered a sedge imitation then leaped three feet out of the water, spitting out the fly in the process. We'll certainly come back here next season as it's handy for Oban and it has a good head of decent fish. Andy & Ronnie

14-15 October - Loch Etive - Fished full day on the 14th mainly by the quarry but also tied to one of the bouys next to the fish farm. Fished in deep water with baited mullets- cocktails of squid ( best bait), not so fresh mackerel and ragworm. Fished by the fish farm for a couple of hours and caught approx 15 spurdog but none of them very large. In the quarry area there were lots of whiting- again caught approx 15 in an hour or so. Tried a few other areas as well, mainly in Airds Bay and further down the loch where the bridge over the Falls of Lora just becomes visible, but very little caught in these locations. A good days fishing in lovely weather. On the next day I tried Loch Goil- put in at Lochgoilhead and fished down the left hand side in obvious deep water. Caught quite a few pouting and codling, but all were tiny. Again used squid and rag worm. Robbie 17 October - Loch Etive (Bonawe) - The three of us fished a mark about 1 mile from Bonawe quarry. We used mackerel and lug for bait and caught a few small gurnards, whiting and a nice pollack of aroung 2 pounds. The pollack took a piece of mackerel fished bumping it along the bottom. The weather was cold and windy but this did not affect the fishing. Vilas and Liam Roberts, Joe

19 October - Loch Melfort - Fished a mark on Loch Melfort. Conditions calm with bright spells. Used two rods at fairly long range with mackerel & sandeel cocktail baits. Also used spinning rods with blue/silver wedge lures. My son picked up his first thornback ray weighing 8lb 4oz. I managed several LSDs to over 2lb and lost one estimated at 4lb when it spat the hook out. Managed several mackerel up to 1lb on the light gear. All fish, bar the mackerel, were returned. Great morning's fishing. Scott & Stu

20 October - Loch Creran - Fished Loch Creran from 8am to 4pm. Tried a number of places trolling a toby and a small pike plug hoping to catch pollack, but not a lot of success. Only fished really for a couple of hours as spent rest of the time boating about. Caught 4 pollack, all around ½lb to ¾lb. Best area was in the moving water south of the bridge as the tide went out. Weather was glorious and loads of seals around - this helped make a great day out. Robbie

21 October - Loch Fyne (Furnace) - With the trout season finished this year we headed to Loch Fyne for an overnight sea fishing session. We fished a mark a couple of miles past Furnace quarry. Weather started off poor with fairly heavy showers but these soon cleared to leave us with a clear night sky with not a drop of wind. We fished from 6pm until around 3am and had a total of five species, LSDs (Andy, Al, Davie) to just over 2lb, a very small haddock (Davie) and monkfish (Rab), a codling (Rab) and a nice thornback ray of around 5lb (Davie). All were taken on a cocktail of king ragworm and squid. We thought we might have been in with a chance of some decent cod but it wasn't to be. Over the course of the night we must have seen over 100 shooting stars. A cracking night was had by all. Andy, Al, Brian, Wee Brian, Davie & Amelia Douglas, Rab Edwards

27-28 October - Sound of Kerrera and Loch Etive - Four members from angling northeast and 5 guests fished the Sound of Kerrera on Friday 27.10.06. We fished from about 5pm till 2 am. Approx 30+ dogfish were caught to various baits. No other species were caught . On Saturday we tried the Falls of Lora at Connel. Zapper caught 1 coalfish about 1lb and 1 dogfish. Later that day we fished Bonawe quarry and only got dogfish. Most of the dogfish this weekend have been really big - 2.5lb/3lb. Stephen Burnett

? October - Loch Etive (by boat from Taynuilt) - This is our 4th time in as many years visiting Loch Etive. On each occasion we have done quite well fishing a 1m flowing trace with squid and mackrel on a 5/0 hook. The vast majority of specimens have been spurdogs, the heaviest of which went to my son (around 10lbs). In 2005 I lost a Thornback on the surface whilst trying to lift it into the boat. The rest of the crew estimated it at around 15/20lbs (honestly). This particular visit was late on in October. The weather on the weekend was sunny but very cold, however. During a lack of action I tried my luck with a mackerel spinner. To my surprise a couple of maccy came aboard, along with some small grey Gurnards. The thing that is really bugging me though is the lack of cod on our travels. Not being right up to date with all rigs etc. available for cod fishing, I was wondering if any one could advise on bottoms/bait when fishing Etive (alwwoo@aol.com). Alwyn Woods

16 December - Feochan Mhor Fishery, Kilmore - On Saturday 16th December we headed off to Feochan Mhor Smokery and Fishery in Kilmore. We started fly fishing at about 9am with various cats whiskers and other rainbow lures. We had no luck up until about 12pm when John landed a 3lb Rainbow on an orange cats whisker. Shorty after George landed a nice 2lb Rainbow on an ace of spades. We had no luck after that so we decided to change the fly. Shorty after John landed another with a white fritz and George landed another nice Rainbow with a home tied fly. We had no luck after that so we decided to call it a day. John & George